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Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 2:36 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres' Moulson in lineup; Stars' Ruff goes for 600

DALLAS -- Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson did not participate in an optional morning skate Monday morning at American Airlines Center. However, Moulson, an ongoing subject of trade speculation ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday, will play his customary role on Buffalo's first line against the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

"The vast majority of the time we have optional skates in pregame skates and guys consider their options, so [Moulson] felt it'd be better if he didn't go back out there today," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said.

Joining Moulson on the top line will be center Tyler Ennis, who has missed the Sabres' past two games with general body soreness.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars look to continue strong run post-Olympics

DALLAS -- Before a 19-day break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Dallas Stars were on a good run, going 6-1-2 over their final nine games. Dallas returns to the ice Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes at American Airlines Center and Lindy Ruff's club is looking to continue that run in their final game of February.

"Yeah, I said the only disappointment this morning is we've got to wait until tonight to play," Ruff said after the morning skate. "It's great to be back. The guys sense the importance of these coming games and they've worked hard the past seven, eight days to be ready."

Ruff is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairings the same from a 2-1 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 8 in Dallas' final game before the break. Kari Lehtonen will start his fourth consecutive game in goal for the Stars.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 1:33 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes, Stars hope to enter Olympic break with win

DALLAS -- The Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars share a common goal in their final game before the NHL breaks for the 2014 Sochi Olympics: win on Saturday at American Airlines Center.

The Coyotes have a bit of momentum after blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 Friday night in Glendale, Chicago's first time being shut out in 127 games. That victory, which featured an appearance by 10 members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle on Ice" team, was watched intently by Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

"I don't think Chicago was ready to play. I thought Phoenix really dominated the game. They [Chicago] had a little bit of a push back late," Ruff said.

Dallas is 5-1-2 in its past eight games and won 3-1 in Glendale on Tuesday to close out a three-game road trip that saw the Stars take five of a possible six points. So Ruff knows exactly what to expect from his second matchup with the Coyotes in four days.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 2:07 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars seek rebound effort against desperate Devils

DALLAS -- Three days after seeing their three-game winning streak end, the Dallas Stars look to rebound against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at American Airlines Center.

Dallas lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Monday night to end the streak, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff knows if his club is to find a win against the Devils, a team that beat them 1-0 in New Jersey on Jan. 9, the formula is simple.

"They're a tough team to play against," Ruff said. "They take a lot of pride in that. This game is about creating, it's about defending, and they're a tough team to get chances against. They don't give up a lot of shots and they don't take a lot of penalties. I like the way they play. I just think nine times out of 10 they're not going to beat themselves."

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Posted On Monday, 01.27.2014 / 2:34 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars look to extend winning streak to four

DALLAS -- It was nearly one week ago that Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff called a closed-door meeting with his players, a meeting also attended by Dallas general manager Jim Nill. And since that meeting last Tuesday, which came just hours after Dallas lost 4-1 at the Nashville Predators, the Stars have won three straight by outscoring the Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins by a total of 14-1.

Dallas has another challenge looming Monday when the Colorado Avalanche visit American Airlines Center.

One reason why the Stars have started to surge is because their power play is firing on all cylinders. In their past seven games they are 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) on the power play, a welcome sight for a team that has struggled with the man advantage for much of the season.

"I think our execution is better," Ruff said. "Our finish has been better. We've had a couple power plays where it's only been one chance but we've put that one in. I think lately our entries have been real good, getting in the zone, setting up and getting that first opportunity or trying to score off the rush."


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Posted On Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 2:38 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars, Penguins each seek three-game winning streak

DALLAS -- Two teams that have scored 11 goals in winning their past two games meet Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars square off at American Airlines Center.

Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 in January and the Penguins have won four of their past five, leading coach Dan Bylsma to keep his lines largely intact from recent wins against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday and New York Islanders on Thursday.

Bylsma is tweaking his third and fourth lines a bit, going with a third line of Taylor Pyatt, Brandon Sutter and Jayson Megna. Pittsburgh's fourth line likely consists of Tanner Glass and Craig Adams centered by Andrew Ebbett, who has missed the past 21 games due to injury.

Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net for the Penguins.


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Posted On Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 2:40 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars look to start streak, snap Maple Leafs' run

DALLAS -- After shutting out the Minnesota Wild 4-0 on Tuesday to earn their second win of 2014, the Dallas Stars hope to build on that strong effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will hit the ice Thursday at American Airlines Center sporting a six-game winning streak.

"[They are a] real good transition team, real good speed up front," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Toronto. "Three or four of their guys can kill you on transition. Real good team at creating odd-numbered chances with their speed. Their power play is clicking. I think their goaltending right now has been as good as I've seen it in a while."

Ruff is keeping his lines intact from the win against Minnesota with one minor change to his fourth line. Rich Peverley, who centered that line Tuesday, will switch spots with left wing Shawn Horcoff.

Kari Lehtonen will start his sixth straight game in net for Dallas.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 2:24 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars hope meeting, top-line reunion help effort

DALLAS -- Hours after the Dallas Stars lost 4-1 at the Nashville Predators on Monday, Stars coach Lindy Ruff called a closed-door meeting in the locker room at American Airlines Center on Tuesday morning.

The meeting, which also included general manager Jim Nill, lasted for approximately 20 minutes.

"It was good," Ruff said of the meeting. "I've been through stretches like this and it's believing in your system, trusting in your system, it's being able to trust the guy next to you. The two words I look for and I want the players to dig down and grab are energy and emotion. I want to see energy and emotion [Tuesday]. And when the game's over I want them to be proud of the effort they put in, and we'll take the result after that."

The loss to the Predators extended Dallas road winless skid to five (0-4-1) and dropped the Stars to 1-8-1 in January.


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Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 2:21 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars look to start new streak vs. Bruins

DALLAS -- After snapping their longest losing streak in almost 18 years, the Dallas Stars now look to start a new streak when the Boston Bruins visit American Airlines Center on Thursday.

Dallas beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Tuesday to snap a six-game losing streak, the club’s longest since the 1995-96 season. It was the Stars' first win of 2014 and a result coach Lindy Ruff would like to build on when Dallas concludes a three-game homestand.

"The opportunity's right in front of us and we can really dictate our own destiny, where we end up," Ruff said. "That's going take a big commitment. That's going to take a lot of hard work. We have guys that need to go above and beyond here. If we're going to make our push, our push has to be now."

Ruff will use the same forward lines and defense pairings from the win against the Oilers, and Kari Lehtonen again will start in net.

Stars captain Jamie Benn was one of several players who did not take part in the optional morning skate Thursday, but Benn will occupy his usual spot on Dallas' top line, alongside Tyler Seguin and Erik Cole, come game time.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 2:53 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars look to end losing streak vs. Oilers

DALLAS -- Exactly two weeks into 2014 the Dallas Stars still are after their first win of the year. A 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday extended the Stars' losing streak to six games, the franchise's longest since the 1995-96 season.

The Stars have not lost seven straight in regulation since the club's 1993 move to Dallas. It last happened in the 1989-90 season when the Minnesota North Stars were winless between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12, 1989, a stretch where they were outscored 30-11.

However, Stars captain Jamie Benn said he isn't too concerned with where this current streak falls in club history. Instead, he's focused on ending it Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers at American Airlines Center.

"Losing's never fun," Benn said. "You've got to play a full 60 minutes in this League to get a victory. We've got to find a way to get the job done [Tuesday]."

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I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning
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